Pact between Microsoft and EU

After years of legal wrangling with the EU, US software giant Microsoft agreed Monday, Oct. 22, to take steps to comply with the bloc’s landmark 2004 antitrust decision against it.

The pact was negotiated by the European competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, and Steve Ballmer, the Microsoft chief executive, over the past few weeks.

It would enable Microsoft’s competitors – from global enterprises like International Business Machines, Sun Microsystems and Network Appliance to small, independent software developers – to make and sell server software that works seamlessly with Microsoft’s own, which industry experts predicted would open vast new sales opportunities.

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